Start Your Engines: How to Build Buzz Around Your Food Truck 

So, you started a food truck. You’ve faced a myriad of challenging decisions to make it along the way, but you know that going the distance is the ultimate reward. Creativity is the key and we’re here to help with information and inspiration that can help you maintain a successful food truck business. The key is creative storytelling and interaction that is both compact enough to travel and visually engaging.

All Things Considered

There are a lot of obstacles to becoming the Dale Earnhardt of mobile meals. The risk of losing money through truck expenditures, local laws, and labor costs proves there are plenty of speed bumps along the way. Getting your budget in check is the first step in the right direction. This will help you navigate the tough terrain that still lies ahead. Take the time to sit down and itemize everything in a monthly budget. Establish weekly procedures to do inventory so you can get a handle on food costs more quickly. Once you do, you can switch that to a monthly chore. Then add all of your costs – inventory, labor, maintenance – into an overall cost. That will establish what your profit margin is and help you identify areas where you can improve.

Menu Location

Start expanding on the locations you think will prove to be most beneficial for your revenue. Many cities feature local food truck parks where customers will flock for strokes of culinary genius. Between menus online and those printed on posters or on the side of your truck, it’s important to keep items both uniform and accessible. Diversify where your menu is located. Even if it’s already on your website, make your business reachable on Yelp or Google for reviews and when the public has questions. Get some sidewalk signs that are mobile and easy to set up/take down to help you advertise unique daily specials.

Stand Out from the Crowd

Anything you fail to do or say differently than the rest will be held against you in a court of food. If there’s nothing memorable about your food truck customers will be less likely to stop by. You’ll be stuck watching all that business walking over to the competition. Take the time to think about what makes you stand out from the crowd, be it staying up till the wee hours of the morning serving late-night junk food, or even having your staff be intentionally sassy to customers. Anything and everything can have an impact on how popular your product is. Anything you can do to make your food truck unique works in its favor, so don’t be afraid to think outside of the box when it comes to being a mobile gourmet.

Mapping out Areas

Map out a few different areas where you think it would be ideal for your food truck to set up a shop. You can even make this into an interactive venture by using your social media and asking your customers on a daily basis where they think you will be parked for that day or where they can follow you to next. This keeps your audience engaged and interactive, which is a must in today’s market. Just don’t make it too obvious or that ruins the fun. 

Community Events

Community events are the backbone of the mobile food industry. Food trucks are highly popular at festivals, fairs, and carnivals. Take advantage of the opportunities. These venues allow you to embrace your creative side and take it next level. Large, creative banners and signs with your logo will help audiences notice you. Once they have, be catchy with the names of items on your menu with hooky phrases and words that customers will remember. This builds a connection with your product and charms your customers into becoming regular patrons. Another popular event-style part of food trucking is catering conferences and parties. Catering is a great and important way to build a business as you reach new customers and people from out of town who may have never heard of you otherwise.

Promo-ing

Discounts are a business owner’s best friend. You can offer discounts to people when they buy their food online for pickup and even throw in a free item when they spend a certain amount – or when they make a review. This is a popular tactic used by companies looking to boost their ratings and get their names out there. Everyone loves free stuff. Look at custom shirts or cups with your business name on them. Have fun with it. When customers find out about what you offer over others, it can easily sway their decision about where they choose to have lunch that day.

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